Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

Tag: wisconsin

June
8th

UNIONS: Koch connection, big money and union-busting

Re: “Public unions meet their ultimate employers: Voters” (editorial, 6-7).

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker was caught several times on tape regarding his intent to break the state’s public employee unions. One conversation revealed his cozy collusion with the billionaire Republican Koch brothers to break the unions. Another conversation involved his secretive attempt to pit private and public unions against each other to destroy them both – divide and conquer.

Walker deliberately concealed his intent to break the unions when he ran for office.

Why do the Kochs and Walker want to break all the unions? Because breaking the unions

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June
6th

LABOR: Lesson learned from Wisconsin

The election in Wisconsin is over. I hope wounds heal and the state keeps moving in the right direction toward fiscal responsibility and fairness to taxpayers.

I believe we may be too blue a state to end collective bargaining, but other parts of Wisconsin’s union reforms should be considered by the Washington state Legislature and governor.

The fact that state worker dues are mandatory and collected by the state doesn’t pass the smell test. Presently taxpayers pay the administrative cost to collect these dues and send the dollars to the unions. State worker unions in turn donate that money to

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March
14th

UNIONS: Pensions and elections at stake

The heartening thing about recent events in Wisconsin is that people, union members and non-members alike, are turning out in support of collective bargaining and workers’ rights.

The Wisconsin Republicans who passed this recent legislation stripped public employees of their rights to collective bargaining and instituted rules requiring public employee union members to vote every year on union membership. The new law signed by Gov. Scott Walker also prohibits union dues from being deducted from members’ paychecks.

These are clear attempts to break unions. If this can happen in Wisconsin and Indiana, it can happen in Washington.

Let’s not be

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March
14th

UNIONS: Laws on the books now protect workers

It’s a shame that the public worker’s unions in Wisconsin have lost their collective bargaining rights. Now they are going to have to live just like me and the 93 percent of the private-sector workers who are not unionized.

This country has survived and even thrived without collective bargaining for the majority of us in the private sector. I doubt that the public workers in Wisconsin will suffer much due to this “setback.”

At one time, unions were absolutely necessary to protect workers against unscrupulous employers that made them work long hours without decent pay. But those days are pretty

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March
10th

WISCONSIN: GOP outmaneuvers missing Dems

Awesome! Wisconsin voters had sent a clear and convincing message in the last vote that they needed politicians with the political stomachs to make hard cuts and balance the budget. When Democrats fled the state instead of doing the business they were elected to, many people saw them as some sort of folk heroes.

Amusingly, these are the same people who had no issue with President Obama shoving through his health care takeover when he had a filibuster-proof Senate. But when the shoe was on the other foot, it was somehow not cowardly of these senators to run for

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March
10th

POLITICS: Right wing is throwing us under the bus

The 30-year war by the radical right on the poor, working poor and middle class is just about complete.

With the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision allowing corporations to pour unlimited amounts of anonymous money into elections, the uber wealthy like the radical right-wing Koch brothers have now purchased and installed radical governors as their poodles in many of our states.

Their goal: to create a subservient class of peons, too beaten down, poor and lacking in any means to mount a political challenge to their rule.

They mean to impose on us a future that in

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Feb.
25th

WISCONSIN: Oligarchs everywhere fear organized workers

It is heartening to see the spirit of freedom soaring in Madison, Wis., as well as the Middle East — and more than a little revealing to see Tea Partiers playing the role of the pro-government militia.

The billionaire Koch brothers, like oligarchs everywhere, understand that an educated, organized and reasonably prosperous middle class is a serious threat. Crushing the unions is the first step toward crushing what is left of the middle class. In their plan, we’ll work at Wal-Mart for minimum wage, and like it.

Busting the public-sector unions, it should be clear by now, has nothing to

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Feb.
22nd

UNION: Gov. Walker a breath of fresh air

Now retired, I spent much of my 40-year career responsible for labor relations (for management). Although most of that time was in negotiating with unions in the private sector, for a short time I also had the opportunity to deal with some in the public sector. What a difference!

In the private sector, managers were held accountable for bottom-line responsibility; if they acquiesced to unreasonable union pressure, they were fired for poor performance.

Not so in the public sector. In fact, in many instances managers were motivated to negotiate lucrative wages and benefits knowing that their own salaries and benefits

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